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POSTGAME: ‘One Team, One Fight’

Posted Aug 25, 2013

Transcripts of news conferences and interviews in the Jets' locker room following their 24-21 overtime win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night:

HEAD COACH REX RYAN

That was obviously something great that came out of the win here [the check from MetLife to build a playground in Newark]. To pull out a win in a situation where you turn the ball over five times, had two fumbles, three picks, had a safety against us, had a missed field goal with an asterisk — looked like it could have been two misses there — and gave up an 84-yard run to start the game, I don’t know if you can ever win a game that way. I don’t care if it’s preseason or what. We have a thing, “One team, one fight,” and that’s what it took, there’s no question about it. And I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’m not apologizing for it. We’ll take the win. Do we have to correct a lot of things? Absolutely, but I’d much rather do it after a win. We’ll take Snoopy, too [laughter]. So I’m happy to get the win. That was our goal, our mission going into this game. We were there to compete.

With that being said, we had the entire starting offense out there for three full quarters, and then I put [Mark] Sanchez in. Unfortunately, the best play that he makes probably all of preseason, he ends up getting hurt on it. We’ll see the severity of the injury later, but it was a tremendous play by him. But that’s football. You compete and you go out there and you do your best. Obviously, it’s very unfortunate that he was injured.

But with that being said, I think there were some guys that really stepped up. Obviously, Ryan [Spadola] — Spicoli, as we call him — he stepped up, had a big day. I love the way the defense responded. I’ve been on some record-setting rushing defenses in my career. I’ve been blessed that way. I never thought I’d be one in futility, but that opening run of 84 yards, that was a little embarrassing to say the least. After that fact, I thought the defense really buckled down. And the way the defense in particular responded after the turnovers is exactly what we stressed from day one, that they’re not in there until they're in there. In a way, it’s "Hey, more TV time for you." And that’s the way you have to hit the field. I was proud of the way the defense responded, but as a team, I was just happy we got that opportunity in overtime to play some more football and I was pleased with that.

On the play of Geno Smith

Obviously, there were some good moments and there were some low moments. The interceptions, the ball was a little behind the intended receiver, and then he overshot the one with the young man playing centerfield [Stevie Brown] and he does a great job of that, he broke on it, made a nice play. Then [Justin] Tuck, you have to tip your hat to him. Great play, disguised it well. The defensive end drops back into coverage in a trap coverage and he just made a great play on it. So obviously he had moments where he threw the ball extremely well, but there are some things he has to take and learn from this.

On whose decision it was to put Sanchez in the game…

That was my decision. It was a coach’s decision all the way. It was my decision. You’re talking about competing. All week, you’re talking about winning a game and competing and that was my decision.

On if he was planning on putting Sanchez into the game…

That was my decision. Like I said, that was my decision all the way, that he went in. He was five-of-six passing. He looked decent. Obviously, he had the fumble and the unfortunate injury, but it was my decision for him to go in the game.

On why he put Sanchez in for the fourth quarter…

Why compete period? We put him out there with guys. We’re there to win. We had our starting offense out there for three quarters because we’re trying to win the game. That was what we wanted to do. We were going to leave our guys out there. We’re trying to compete and everybody’s out there. Injuries are part of the game. Obviously, we’ll see the severity of Mark’s injury and others as well. But you can get hurt in practice, you can get hurt in different things. Obviously, it never worked out the way we wanted it to, certainly, but we’re here to compete.

On why Sanchez was the only starter in during the fourth quarter…

The way the game went, we left Geno in there for three quarters, and when we had a chance, we put Mark in. I always wanted to play Mark.

On playing Sanchez without the starters…

Again, I had Mark in there. I probably extend the ones out there maybe even a little longer than I wanted. But we had them into the third quarter, it’s generally what we do, and as it worked out, we played them the whole time. Again, it’s my decision and we’re going to compete. We said we’re going to compete and watch that competition, an equal competition, that’s we wanted to try to get to. I understand being second-guessed and stuff when an injury happens, certainly I understand that, but that’s football.

On the play of Matt Simms

I thought he played well. He was up and down, but he had 6-of-10, a 135.0 quarterback rating, so he did some good things. Coming here to play the Giants, I think obviously was big for him. The play of his dad [Phil Simms] was pretty darn good for a number of years also.

On when they will decide who will start at quarterback in the regular season opener…

Like we’ve said from day one, whenever we think the appropriate time is, we’ll make that call.

On if he thinks he needs to see more from the quarterbacks in the last preseason game…

We’ll see. If that’s what we think we need to see, then we’ll take it all the way up.

On if he knows the severity of Sanchez’ injury…

No.

On if he thinks it was irresponsible to put the likely starting quarterback in with non-starters…

That’s an assumption on your part. I can understand that’s your assumption. This team, we’ll make the call on a starting quarterback when we think it’s appropriate, and we’ve said that from day one. To me, obviously we talked about the competition and that’s something I thought was important. If it wasn’t important, I wouldn’t have put him in there. I would not have put Mark in if it wasn’t important.

On if Smith still has a chance to be the starting quarterback…

Again, we’re going to compete all the way through.

On if Smith can still be named the starting quarterback…

Hey, I’ll make that call. I don’t have to answer a question. I’ll answer it the way I said. From day one, we will make the announcement on a starting quarterback when we think it’s the appropriate time, not when you, not when this person, or this person, or this person ... maybe that person [joking]. But that’s about it.

On not answering if Smith can still be named the starting quarterback…

I can say anything I want. That’s the beauty of this country. I can answer it 100 times. I can stand backwards and answer the question. I’m going sideways. We’ll make the announcement when I think it’s the appropriate time.

On if he had reservations about putting Sanchez in with the backup offensive linemen…

After the injury, you always have reservations like "OK, aw, shoot." But we’re competing. I’m telling our players, "We’re trying to compete to win this game, period." And that was it. Mark was throwing the ball well and that’s it. But you know, if a guy gets injured you can say the same thing, "Hey, I wish Cro wasn’t out there." He bothered his hip. But we’ll see, like I say, and hopefully the severity of the injuries aren’t too serious.

On whose call it was to put Sanchez in…

Again, I said that was my call. I wanted to go with Mark.

On if Sanchez was told before the game he was not going to play…

I doubt that very much.

On if anyone told Sanchez before the game he was not going to play…

He wasn’t told that from me, and since I made the decision, that was probably the one he should’ve listened to.

On the severity of Sanchez’ injury…

We know he has a shoulder injury. The severity of it, we do not know yet.

QB GENO SMITH

On how he would grade his performance…

I don’t do grades, but overall I think this is just another learning experience for me. Lots of teaching tape. Felt good to be out there with my teammates competing once again and it was a great job. It was a good team win tonight.

On if he thinks he still has a chance to compete for the starting quarterback job…

Well, as long as Rex [Ryan] and the committee are evaluating us, I think I have a shot. As I’ve stated, I don’t think one game, one practice, one day will tell you the type of quarterback I am. I think it takes a ton of evaluation to get this thing done. It’s not just about myself, it’s about this team progressing and all of us getting better and that’s something we’re doing.

On if Mark Sanchez told him how badly he was injured…

No.

On if he thinks he hurt his chances by throwing three interceptions…

I don’t know. One thing that I do know is that I’m going to get better from it and it’s going to be another learning experience. I was just happy with the way that the offensive line protected tonight, receivers were getting open all night. It looks like we competed well and came through with the victory.

On if he was surprised that Sanchez played in the fourth quarter…

No, I wasn’t. I think that was kind of planned all along. That’s just what it was.

On what went wrong on his interceptions…

A number of things that you can kind of pinpoint things here and there. They don’t need to be thrown. Turnovers are never something that we want to do. We don’t want to put our defense in a tough spot. They did a great job of bailing us out time and time again. It’s something that we will improve upon. I, myself, will do better at protecting the ball. Just get better day-by-day.

On his interception to Justin Tuck…

Yeah, Tuck, he just made a play and did a great job. Our scheme was up the middle and he made a play.

On if he knew where he was when he stepped out of bounds for a safety…

I knew where I was. I kind of tried to tightrope it on the back end line. I had immediate pressure in my face but I do believe I knew. I’ve got to do a better job of being aware and getting us out of a tough spot right there.

On Giants Prince Amukamara saying he was staring down receivers…

Well, that’s his opinion. I couldn’t tell you if I was staring down receivers, I was just going through my normal reads. That’s his opinion.

On how comfortable he felt…

I felt pretty comfortable, felt relaxed sitting back there in the pocket. Other than those mistakes, that I put entirely on myself, I felt pretty relaxed out there.

On how it felt getting extended playing time…

I felt natural. I’ve had a ton of experience in practice with it. As I’ve stated, I’m getting better with it. I felt natural. Like I said, the offensive line did a great job of protecting me. I was able to stand back there and go through my reads and hit open receivers.

QB MATT SIMMS

On how he felt about being a part of tonight’s victory…

If felt good. It was fun. It was very fun. It was a really good time, especially beating the Giants. It was special.

On the touchdown pass he threw to Ryan Spadola

Technically I wasn’t really supposed to throw that, but Ryan did a great job catching in the back window like that. That was one of those things, it was either going to be a great throw or a really bad decision. So I’m happy it worked out well.

On the long completion to Spadola in overtime to set up the winning score…

That play, just a scramble drill. Run out of the pocket and make something happen. Luckily I put enough juice on the ball for Spadola to come back and catch it. He did a great job coming back and making a great play after the catch as well.

LB DAVID HARRIS

On settling down after the Giants first scoring drive…

We just came to the sideline, everyone knew what went wrong. We gave up the edge. The Giants have a very explosive back in [David] Wilson. When he gets behind you, I think nobody is fast enough on our defense to catch him. Good play by them but we came back in and just played football after that.

On the goal line stand…

That was huge. Dawan [Landry] made a heck of a play on that fourth down, covering a wide receiver. It was just the mentality once you get down to goal line. To try to keep them out at all costs and we did that.

On if he was satisfied with the defense…

Oh, yeah. You never want to give up an [84-yard] run ever. I think we did what we were supposed to do on defense. Gave up 10 points. We kind of flustered them, that’s always a good thing.

G WILLIE COLON

On if he thought Mark Sanchez should have played in tonight’s game…

That’s not my call. Mark is more than capable, more than willing, I know that for a fact. It’s just unfortunate that he got hurt tonight.

On if the coaches told them how long they were going to play in the game…

It was Coach’s call. We were going to go as long as he wanted us to go. I think it is unfortunate how we finished that drive. We’re better than that, we know that. But it is what it is.

On if it is difficult for the offense not knowing who the starting quarterback is going to be…

It’s only a challenge if you make it a challenge. Most guys are more than capable. We believe in both guys. We know Geno [Smith]'s a young guy. He’s going to go in there. He has the heart of a lion. I see it in him. Mark has the same thing. Both guys are more than capable. It’s not our call right now. It’s the coaches', so whatever happens is going to happen. We’re going to roll with whoever’s the guy.

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